By Michael Messina

The California High Speed Rail project has seen its fair share of ups and downs, but the latest change in direction for the track system that would eventually connect Los Angeles and San Francisco might be one of the most encouraging to date. A recent push to purchase foreign parts for the trains saw a reversal last week, and with help from U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-Fresno), most of the parts will be made in America.

From the LA Times:

The change on Thursday came after [Garamendi] and other Democratic lawmakers became outraged over the plan, disclosed last week, to import the most important parts of future rail cars, including motors, brakes, wheels, axles, the aluminum shells and undercarriages.

The reversal is a huge win for American manufacturing and the middle-class workers who will benefit from contracts with the California High Speed Rail Authority. The project is worth $64 billion, which would be no small boost for the industry.

Unions are backing it the whole way. Again, from the Times story:

The massive AFL-CIO, which represents the largest industrial unions in the nation, said it was “extremely pleased” about the potential for job creation.

“California high-speed rail is one of the most important and forward-looking infrastructure projects underway in this country,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the union’s Transportation Trades Department. “We have been proud to support this project and defend it against political attacks by opponents in the state and in Washington, D.C.”

When the California High Speed Rail is finally finished (projected for 2029), Labor 411 will happily add this awesome system to our Buy Union, Buy American directory. We’re hoping the rest of America will see this as a great project to emulate, and jump on board, too.

Read the full LA Times article here.

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